patient with mirror gap after tooth extraction

What Are Removable Partial Dentures?: The Facts You Need to Know

Do you have one or several missing teeth? Are the teeth you still have strong and healthy?

If so, a smart replacement option may be removable partial dentures.

Like complete dentures, removable partial dentures are a dental appliance you can put in or take out of your mouth. The main difference between complete and removable partial dentures is that the RPDs attach to the remaining teeth to stay in place.

Keep reading to learn more about removable partial dentures to determine if they are the right tooth replacement solution for you.

Types of Removable Partial Dentures

Today, you can find many types of modern dentures, including removable partial dentures.

RPDs are comfortable and functional. Your dentist can help you determine what type of removable partial denture you need. The options include:

Treatment RPD – Flipper

With treatment RPD, you have an affordable and fast way to replace your missing teeth. Treatment RPDs are typically used if you lose a tooth suddenly or unexpectedly.

They are also used if you need a tooth extracted, and immediate replacement is required.

Flippers are sometimes used when the dentist isn’t sure if the other teeth you have can support a permanent metal-based RPD or during the healing process.

With this option, the partial will be made of white plastic teeth and pink acrylic.

Treatment RPD – Essix

The Essix retainer is made of clear and transparent plastic, similar to the retailers used for straightening teeth.

They are designed to hold a plastic tooth in the place where the missing tooth or teeth should be.

This option is most common for short-term use, front teeth, or during the placement of dental implants.

Metal-Based RPD

A metal-based RPD offers several advantages over more traditional RPDs (mentioned above).

The metal base is designed with clasps that attach to the remaining teeth in your mouth.

This provides more retention and strength for the partial. Your remaining teeth will be altered slightly so that the metal base fits well into the teeth and doesn’t interfere with your bite.

White plastic teeth and pink acrylic will be added to the metal base to create a life-like appearance.

Benefits of Removal Partial Dentures

If you aren’t sure if partial dentures are a smart choice, you should consider the long list of benefits they offer.


One of the most obvious reasons to consider partial dentures is to help improve the appearance of your smile.

This is a huge confidence booster for those who feel self-conscious about their smiles.

In fact, it has been proven that one of the main reasons people speak to their dentist about dentures is for aesthetic purposes.

Having a smile you are confident with is essential to success in your personal and professional life. Removable partial dentures help with this.

Improved Speech

If you have damaged or missing teeth, they may begin to impact your speech patterns. Sometimes, the impact of these problems has been significant.

Deficiencies in speech, such as mispronunciation or lisps, may become problematic and occur in anyone at any time in life.

Losing just one tooth results in bone loss; a change in your bite can result in food impaction and may even result in adjacent teeth shifting into the empty space.

Utilizing partial dentures can help restore speech patterns.

Easier to Eat

It doesn’t matter what type of removable partial dentures you choose; having them in place makes eating much easier. Sometimes, they will even allow you to begin eating the foods you enjoy most once again.

What Issues May Occur with Removable Partial Dentures?

While removable partial dentures offer many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks you may have to deal with.

Understanding both the pros and cons can help you decide if this tooth replacement option is right for you. Some of the most common issues seen include:

  • Food getting stuck under or around the partial
  • Issues speaking
  • Problems eating
  • Irritation or sore spots
  • Full feeling

If you experience these issues, talk to your dentist. They may be able to provide solutions for the most common problems that occur.

Caring for Removable Partial Dentures

If you choose removable partial dentures to replace your missing tooth or teeth, you must go to the dentist every six months for a full cleaning and evaluation of your remaining teeth.

During this visit, your dentist can also assess your bone health and gum tissue.

Also, a dentist can evaluate and check the function and fit of your removable partial denture to ensure there are no issues. Sometimes, problems with your remaining teeth may impact how your partial denture fits.

Regular oral hygiene is also a crucial part of ensuring your removable partial denture’s proper function and fit. You can speak to your dentist to learn more about the best oral hygiene routine for you.

Are Removable Partial Dentures Right for You?

Now that you know what they are and how they work, you can make an informed decision about if removable partial dentures are right for you.

While this may not be the best tooth or teeth replacement option for everyone, it does have several undeniable benefits to consider. It is smart to speak to your dentist to determine if this option is suitable for your needs.

Are you looking for more information and resources on different topics? If so, be sure to check out some of the other blogs on our site. We post regularly to help ensure your readers stay informed.